Advocates vow to fight for Illinois conversion therapy ban

pyschiatry psychology conversion therapy

After failing to garner enough votes to pass a ban on conversion therapy, also called reparative therapy, in Illinois, advocacy group Equality Illinois vows to keep fighting.

“We will continue to raise the alarm and look for the right moment to seek legislative action to ban the harmful therapy that is opposed by every professional mental health organization in Illinois and the U.S.,” said Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov.

The House of Representatives failed to advance the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, whose chief sponsor is Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago. If passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn (D), the legislation would prohibit mental health professionals from any attempt to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

“The debate is not over,” Cherkasov insisted. “The most vulnerable individuals, those already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia, must not be targeted and subjected to a practice that medical practitioners deem harmful and inappropriate.”

About Gerald Farinas

An Edgewater Beach resident, Gerry is managing editor and interim editor-in-chief of Chicago Phoenix. He is concurrently a social services professional and media consultant. For more info: www.geraldfarinas.com.